Roger Federer is in Basel for the Swiss Indoors, and he hasn't wasted any time, gaining a new sponsor in Lindt Chocolates (first 3 pictures) and attending a soccer match to support his beloved FC Basel when they took on FC Zurich. Check out the Basel draws here.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
For the second time this week, and the 23rd time in their careers, Venus and Serena Williams will face off, this time in the finals of the Sony Ericsson Year Ending Championships in Doha. Serena took out Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals. The injured Dane, who has been suffering through brutal leg cramps the entire week, retired while down a set. Serena hasn't been to the finals of the year ending championships since 2004, and she has won it only once, in '01. Venus, who advanced to the semis despite a losing record in round-robin play, defeated Jelena Jankovic in their 10th meeting and ninth 3-set match. Following Venus' 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win, she told the press, “This is my last tournament of the year, so I’m giving a thousand percent.” In the first meeting between the sisters earlier this week, Serena prevailed with a 5-7, 6-5, 7-4 (4) victory, so don't be surprised when big sis has a few new tactics to throw Serena's way after she watches film tonight.
Unfortunately for the Williams', who have won 3 of the 4 Grand Slam doubles championships this year, Nuria Llagostera Vives and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez brought their A-game in the doubles semifinals, defeating V and S 2-6, 6-4, 10-8. Too bad they had to play one of those LAME super-tiebreakers for the 3rd set. Martinez Sanchez and Llagostera Vives, both from Spain, will meet Cara Black and Liezel Huber.
P.S. HAPPY HALLOWEEN.
We were Kate Gosselin from the hit reality show Jon and Kate Plus 8. We got us the wig and the 8 Asian baby dools. Gotta' love it.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Although Elena Dementieva defeated Venus Williams earlier in the week, by virtue of the sets won/loss rule, Venus, who shares a 1-2 record in round robin play with Svetlana Kuznetsova and Dementieva, is moving on into the semifinals at the Year-Ending Championships. We think that rule is EFFED UP! Head to head should always come first. V should thank bff Svetlana Kuznetsova for playing great ball today and not yesterday when the two played. Serena went 3-0 in group play, so the world number 1 was assured a semi spot prior to Friday's action.
Anyways, in the white group, Jelena Jankovic and Caroline Wozniacki, who's leg was rapped INSANELY, advanced to the final 4 after Victoria Azarenka, who would have been assured a semifinal birth, lost a thriller to Agnieszka Radwanska. Jankovic pummeled an injured Wozniacki today, to finish first in the group.
Serena Williams will take on Wozniacki and Venus will take on Jankovic, allowing a possible Serena/Venus final.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Following Andre Agassi's "shocking" admission that he used crystal meth in 1997 and lied to the ATP about the matter, pros and columnists all around the world had voiced their opinion on the matter.
Roger Federer at a press conference
" I am dissapointed that something like this has happened. I hope the outing is good fo Agassi. With his foundation, he has generated over 100 million U.S. dollars. This is at the forefront. In the future, such a thing won't happen. Our sport must remain healthy."
Andy Roddick via Twitter
"Andre is and will always be my idol. I will judge him on how he has treated me and how he has changed the world for the better. To be fair, when Andre wrote the reported letter, he was well outside the top 100, and widely viewed as on the way out."
Serena Williams at a press conference in Doha
WARNING: this is classic Serena, pimping out her new book, so there isn't much of a response
"I don't even know what crystal meth is, you know, so that's what my reaction to it is. I haven't read anything about Andre Agassi's book. All I know is that I have a book coming out."
"Shocking. Not as much shock that he did it, shock that he lied about it and didn't own up to it. He's up there with Roger Clemens, as far as I'm concerned. He owned up to it (in the book), but it doesn't help now."
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Serena Williams has jumped out of the gate at this years Year-Ending Championships in Doha quite well, as the world number 1 defeated a very tough trio of Svetlana Kuznetsova, her sister Venus and Elena Dementieva to clinch a birth in the semifinals. Venus finished off round-robin play with a 1-2 record, having lost to Serena and Dementieva and defeating Kuznetsova in 3 sets today, 6-2, 6-7 (3), 6-4. In the white group, Dinara Safina withdrew after losing to Jelena Jankovic, and Vera Zvonareva took Safina's place. Following her loss to Caroline Wozniacki, Zvonareva withdrew, allowing Agnieszka Radwanska, originally the 2nd alternate, to compete. Dementieva and Kuznetsova will play tomorrow in the maroon group, while Caroline Wozniacki will take on Jelena Jankovic. Azarenka is scheduled to play Radwanska.
The current standings are as followed (Sets won/lost are in parentheses):
Carolina Wozniacki: 2-0 (4-2)
Victoria Azarenka: 1-1 (3-2)
Jelena Jankovic: 1-1 (2-2)
Agniszka Radwanska: 0-0 (0-0)
Serena Williams: 3-0 (6-1)
Elena Dementieva: 1-1 (2-3)
Venus Williams: 1-2 (4-5)
Svetlana Kuznetsova: 0-2 (1-4)
Dinara Safina was featured in the November issue of Russian Harper's Bazaar and the world number 2 looked anything but a tennis pro, and much more like a runway model. Dinara has been picked on for her muscular stature before, but the only words that came out of my mouth seeing this magnificent shoot were 'fabulous, stunning, divine....'
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Victoria Azarenka and Jelena Jankovic's encounter is about to get underway, so before it's too late, I better share my predictions with ya'll for Doha. FYI, the top two performers from each round-robin group will form the semifinals, in which the top performer from the white group would meet the second best from the maroon, and vice versa.
Take a quick little gander at this group and without even thinking I'm sure you all can tell that the White Group is slamless. They happen to be a bunch of headcases who have each made headlines in their own, special way. All the better for us, as we get to watch the drama unfold between the four of them. Dinara Safina headlines the group. She started off the year beautifully, reaching the finals in Australia and Paris and reaching the semis at Wimbledon. Her BRUTAL loss to Venus Williams in that semifinal started the unraveling process for Safina, and she hasn't been the same since. Wozniacki has been sort of the opposite, as she started 2009 poorly, but kicked it up a notch and reached the US Open final. Azarenka has been pretty up-and-down, as the Belarusian reached the final eight in Roland Garros and at Wimbledon, but has a dismal 9-6 record since. And Jankovic, well she's just all over the place, like always. The Serb flopped under the pressure of being number one, but has started to show some glimpses of hope throughout this past summer and this fall.
Although this group lacks a household name, the four ladies will still provide entertaining tennis. Wozniacki has recently been involved in a scandal, and I'm expecting the headlines to shake her a bit. Azarenka has continually proved she can play incredible tennis, but when it comes down to it, the girl just can't keep her head on straight. Speaking of the mentally instable, Dinara Safina has suffered losses to two players outside the top 180 since the US Open, but she'll be in Doha with a determination to regain the number one ranking.
Semifinalists: Safina & Jankovic
Can you say LOADED? The maroon group is just as talented as they come, filled with the Williams sisters and a pair of Russians with enviably powerful groundies. Williams the younger has no doubt been the best player this year, complete with 2 GS victories, and well, nothing else. Kuznetsova won the French Open, defeating Safina and Serena en route to her second major title, but her level of play has dropped a little, having had suffered early round defeats in London, Cincy, Montreal and NYC. Dementieva has been the epitome of GS underachiever/Tier II dominator. The Russian suffered defeats to Serena in the semis of Australia and Wimbledon, but has played outstanding tennis in the lower tier events, like Toronto, where Elena crushed Serena and Maria Sharapova en route to the title. And last, but certainly not least, is Venus Williams. V has certainly not had an impressive year, but not horrible either. Except for reaching the Wimbledon final, V has failed to play stellar tennis, as the elder Williams has a 5-6 record in the past 2 months.
Each of these players can beat each other at any given time, on any given day, but it is clearly a matter of current form. Also, Serena needs to motivate herself to win at events other than the Grand Slams, and Doha is the perfect place to do it. For an 11 time GS champ, Williams has won an unimpressive 1 year-end championship, but she's on a mission following her loss at the hands of mama Clijsters in New York.
Semifinalists: S. Williams and Dementieva
Semifinals: Williams d. Jankovic, Safina d. Dementieva
And, just like the fairytale said, we'll have a fight for number 1 in the last match of the year.
Williams d. Safina
Sunday, October 25, 2009
The top 8 ladies of the WTA channeled their inner glamazon's to attend the draw ceremony for the prestigious WTA Year End Championships in Doha, and the Maroon group is loaded, while the White group is a bunch of headcases. They all looked stunning (even Kuznetsova) in their gowns, while Serena proved the notion that she never stands in anyone's shadows, opting for a fashion-forward jumpsuit over a dress.
Dinara Safina looked absolutely STUNNING, standing out in her beautiful brown gown. A+ on make-up too.
Francesca Schiavone captured the Kremlin Cup title by crushing Olga Govortsova 6-0, 6-3. It was the Italian's 2nd career title and her 2nd final in as many weeks. Following her loss, Govortsova only had kind words to say about her opponent, telling the press, “It’s difficult to play with Francesca on this surface. She practically made no mistakes. She made me run a lot in the first set and it had an impact on me later in the match.”
Mikhail Youzhny of Russia took the men's title at the Kremlin Cup, pulling out a 3 set battle with the Serbian Janko Tipsarevic, 6-7 (5), 6-0, 6-4. It was the Russian's 5th career title, improving his record in ATP finals to 5-11. “The first set was a tough one for both of us,” said the 30th ranked Youzhny. “But in the second set he appeared to be really tired after a tough doubles match he had played late on Saturday.”
Congrats to both players.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Sorry for the 48 hour absence, guys. Work is work, unfortunately. Anyways, I'm sure many of you have heard about Caroline Wozniacki's controversy, which has been making headlines, and if not, here's a roundup.
Wozniacki retired from her match with a hamstring injury in Luxembourg up a staggering 7-5, 5-0, giving home favorite Anna Kremer a pass into the 2nd round. Wozniacki's father, Piotr, told Ekstra Bladet that in their on court coaching session, he told Caroline, "whether it is 5-0, 4-1 or 3-2 at the next change of ends, you have to decide if you will be able to play the next match. Then make the right decision." The conversation was posted online in minutes, prompting bets to go in Kremer's favor very quickly. "I have spoken to the tournament director, who spoke to the WTA, who was also at the match. They all said Caroline showed a lot of sportsmanship," said Piotr. The WTA will review full tapes on the incident.
HERE WE GO AGAIN. Another instance where a father steps into his child's business and possibly ruins her career. Sounds very Jelena Dokic/Bernard Tomic-esque to me, don't ya think. I understand if Wozniacki would have been unable to play her next match, but with a dominating score like that, any regular pro would get the win under their belt and see how the injury felt the next morning, so Wozniacki and her team were obviously way too quick to talk. I don't give a damn if it was sportsmanship or another betting scandal, because the only word I can think of is downright stupid. Wozzi's a sweet girl, but this really irritates me.
On a lighter note, Jelena Jankovic secured the 8th spot in the race for Doha when Vera Zvonareva was crushed in the second round by Tsvetana Pironkova. Janko fell to Alisa Kleybanova in the quarters, but the spot was clinched, so no worries for the Serb. “I was really happy when I heard that I’d made it to Doha,” Jankovic said. “It was very important for me.” Jankovic joins Serena and Venus, Dinara Safina, Elena Dementieva, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Carolina Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka in the field for The Season Ending Championships in Doha.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Jean Paul Gaultier, the designer for Hermes', definitely hit an ace on his quite-obviously tennis themed collection. JPG is known for his crazy clothes, but his Ready-To-Wear tennis fashion show, which debuted about 2 weeks ago at Paris Fashion Week, is just the right balance of athletic wear and high fashion. Many designers have made an effort to branch into the athletic apparel department, but none have done so as smoothly as Gaultier. Bravo, JPG!
P.S. Write which looks you could see on any WTA ladies in the comment box!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Nikolay Davydenko capped off an incredible week at the Shanghai Masters in great fashion, defeating Novak Djokovic in the semis and Rafael Nadal in the finals for the Russian's 4th title of the year. Davydenko won the first set 7-6 (3) after the two traded service holds. The world number 8 won the tiebreak easily, and carried his momentum into the second set, winning it 6-3 after breaking in the 6th game. Davydenko will now sit comfortably at 7th in the race to London, while Fernando Verdasco stands 420 points behind him. Davydenko will next play in Moscow.